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My Garden Diary

September and October 2014

Copyright © 2014 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


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Entries are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. However, they may refer to entries on prior pages.

This diary has been visited times since I started it.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
3 September

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 61-88
Humidity: 37%
Wind: 1-12

Rain —
This season: 5.90
Days since last: 31

The pink clover (Persicaria capitata) that forms my lawn in front is doing poorly. Unlike the red fescue (Festuca rubra) in my back lawn, this cannot be the result of foot traffic since there has been none. I suspect that our weather — extreme heat and drought — are responsible. Today, I broadcast some gypsum on the worst parts of the lawn. Next week, I might aerate those areas. The goal is to ensure water actually penetrates the soil when the sprinklers are running.

Trimmed along the path in back between the lawn and the rose bed. This is going much faster than the trimming I did last spring.

1 September

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 64-94
Humidity: 36%
Wind: 1-12

Rain —
This season: 5.90
Days since last: 29

Because of the drought, we are constantly exhorted to cut our use of water. In the past 12 months, we have used 1% less than during the prior 12 months. However, that reduced amount cost us 4% more than during the year earlier period. Since we were already trying to conserve water for several years, the Oak Park Water Service had best not start rationing based on our prior use. That would effectively penalize those who always conserved while rewarding those who wasted water.

Aerated the back lawn where it appears to be dying (20 Aug). I used a device that punches holes in the soil and removes plugs of soil. After next Sunday — after the sprinklers run twice more — I will lightly feed that area.

Started trimming the edges of the paths in the back yard. I completed the entire area between the lawn and the east bed.

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year. Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also The Climate.
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